Show Desktop:
How to Show Desktop on Mac

Mac users sometimes have to minimize all opened programs to view their desktops or access on-screen files. It's not the case with Windows users, because they can use keyboard shortcuts or move the cursor to the bottom-right of the screen to hide all windows. If you're wondering how you can show desktop Mac, this article provides three ways you can do that and insights into how the Parallels Toolbox can simplify the process.

What does it mean to show your desktop?

The Show Desktop feature, included in Mac computers, allows computer users to instantly access the desktop by minimizing all opened programs. It can also be used to restore the application running in the computer background. Doing that enables you to quickly grab a desktop file or launch another program from the always resourceful desktop space.

How to show desktop

Would you like to show desktop shortcut Mac using your computer's built-in features? Through this article, you'll learn how to show desktop on Mac. The following are three ways you can do that in three simple ways:

Using keyboard Shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts is the quickest way to show your Mac desktop, and you can do that in two simple methods.

  1. Press Fn + F11 to quickly reveal the desktop. For older Mac Pro computers, the keyboard doesn't feature media keys. In that case, you can only use the F11 to view desktop
  2. You can alternatively press Command + F3 (Mission Control) to show desktop.

Create Hot Corners

Unknown to many Mac users is the Hot Corners feature. It's typically hidden but you can always access it by moving your cursor/pointer at one of your screen's four corners. It's a handy feature that lets you perform basic functions, from screensaver, Launchpad, and show desktop shortcut Mac. Adhere to the instructions outlined below to assign a hot corner on one, two, or all four screen corners.

  1. Click the Apple Menu > System Preferences…
  2. Press the Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver
  3. Click the Hot Corners button that appears on the screen
  4. That leads to a popup display indicating the four corners. Click the bottom right dropdown annotation, and then click Desktop.
  5. Complete the process by clicking Okay

Now you can move your cursor to the lower right corner to instantly slide and hide all opened windows and show desktop.

Use the Trackpad Gesture

The trackpad gesture is a default feature in all Mac computers, and you can use it to quickly hide all opened programs to unveil the desktop.

  1. Place your hand on the trackpad, and spread the thumb away from three fingers to show desktop. Sliding the fingers towards each other in a pinch gesture hides the desktop.
  2. If you're having difficulties using the trackpad gesture, you can activate it by going to System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures. After that, check the Show Desktop option

How to show desktop using Parallels Toolbox

While your computer's default features come in handy when you need to show your desktop Mac, you can also use the Parallels Toolbox to reveal the desktop. It's a powerful Mac program that provides all the features you need to carry out simple functions in a single suite. Granted, you won't have to follow different steps or keyboard shortcuts whenever you need to perform a task on your computer.

Below is how you can use the Parallels app to show the desktop:

  1. Open the Parallels Toolbox on your Mac's top toolbar
  2. Under the Library window click Productivity
  3. Scroll down the list and choose Show Desktop to immediately access your clean desktop


Using Mac's Show Desktop feature is an excellent means of exiting all opened programs. Whatever method you use, you'll have to follow several steps. To minimize the effort, you can use a third-party application, such as Parallels, which lets you do that with a single click.